Getting Your Training Wheels
The Exploratory Period 

After you have an idea of what your message is and you think you can capture and on-line audience you have to figure out how to do it.

  • Establish an on-line identity

  • Promote or drive traffic to your site

  • Learn about the tools of the web

These thee things are not in any order as you will be constantly doing all three of these, sometime as the same time.

In the off-line world you have many things that determine your professional image. The address and size of your offices, what car you drove up in, that fancy new suit, the sound of your executive assistant's voice screening your calls, how glossy the paper is on your brochures or how big your display is at the trade show. The list goes on an on. You work very hard and invest a lot in this image in the off-line world. On0-line you basically have two things.

    Your e-mail
    Your web site

That's it boys and girls. Sure you can do off-line promotion after that big internet IPO and even a Super Bowl commercial but the vast majority of startups are going to rely on those two very simple things.

Your e-mail  
Your e-mail is not only your e-mail address but how you respond to e-mail and just as important how fast you respond to e-mail. 

E-mail is the new business writing. Spell checking is appropriate, punctuation is appropriate, concise communication is appropriate, considerate (the size), useful and virus free attachments are appropriate. Unsolicited e-mail is not appropriate, not relying is not appropriate, anything you wouldn't put in a memo or flyer is not appropriate.

One  wonderful thing about the web is that you can be a cyber skitso, one  identity for business and one for keeping in touch with family. As begin to use e-mail tools to their full potential you can get some real time saving dividends here.

Although the communication is the most important thing your e-mail address does give a first impression.

What does,  E-mail me at say to someone?
So you were the 3487th surf puppy on a free e-mail service. You were probably also surfpuppy3102 and surfpuppy2246 but forgot your password a couple of times. 
    This is not to say that free e-mail services aren't great tools that shouldn't be used for their convenience and flexibility bit what if e-mail sent to  was automatically forwarded to your hotmail account. Your audience wouldn't know the difference and you could still check your e-mail the way you always did.

Your Web Site
This is it. Your main office, your branch office, your check out counter, your sales presentation, your returns desk. It all revolves around your web site.

Just like your e-mail. The name of your web site matters.

Yes this site is free and it might even have to some great content but is this what you want to put on your business card for prospective customers to type in and go to? Unfortunately, and are already taken but there are still plenty of domains available.

More important than the URL of the site is the content and look of the site once they get there.
A professional site: 
        Must have good content
        You must be able to find the content (organization and navigation)
        Must be accessible (take your audience's computer and Internet connection into consideration).

We will expand more on these topics as the site grows.